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>> from pacifica, this is "democracy now!" >> ohio will probably pick our president today. union workers and roll evangelicals are driving to the polls. >> it is a systematic attempt to eliminate the hard core base of the democratic party. >> election day 2012 has arrived. the battle over voter suppression has reached a fever pitch in battleground states. we will get an update from greg palast in ohio. we will go to virginia were volunteers with the tea party lynch group true the vote challenging voters at the polls. a >> it is a dangerous right wing organizations, seeking to train 1 million people for what they're calling a poll watching
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that work, although, it sounds a lot more like harassing. >> we will speak with brentin mock of colorlines. if your boat is challenged, what can you do? we will get tips from myrna pérez voter support hotline. a new front line propublica investigation follows the dark money trail of a so-called social welfare nonprofits behind the expansion of citizens united to a meth house in colorado. >> the gentleman who was living here, i opened the door, he was blind. he reaches out and grabs me by the arm and pulls me to the house. i immediately see there are several boxes, four or five very large containers, on the floor. i could tell law enforcement would find them very important and interesting, and i was determined to get them in the right places because i could. >> all of that and more coming up.
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this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. voting is underway across the country as americans head to the polls to decided 2012 election between president obama and republican challenger mitt romney. the outcome will again hinge on the results and a handful of battleground states, namely ohio, florida, iowa, and virginia. addressing supporters in wisconsin, president obama said his initial campaign vow of change is still under way. >> when i say, wisconsin, that i know what real change looks like, you have cause to believe me because you have seen the fight for it and you have seen me deliver it. you see the scars on me to prove it. you have seen the gray hair on my head to show you what it means to fight for change.
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and you have been there with me. after all we have been through together, we cannot give up now. we have got more change to do. >> president obama finished a packed day of campaigning in iowa, the state that effectively launched his white house run with the democratic primary win in 2008. speaking in ohio, mitt romney told supporters that obama has failed to live up to his promise of change. >> i know the president wants you to think about all sorts of diversionary issues that decide what is key in this election, but i think the election comes down to this question -- do you want four more years like the last four years? >> no! >> or do you want real change? president obama promised change, but it could not deliver it. i promise change and i have a record of achieving it. >> widespread concerns have been raised over how residents in areas hit hard by superstorm
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sandy will be able to vote today, as some areas remain without power. the new york governor has signed an executive order allowing residents to cast a provisional ballot or affidavit in any polling place in the state, and ability new jersey has also extended. there, a governor chris christie, has announced displaced new jersey residents can vote through e-mail and fax. state officials say they will also need to submit a paper ballot. in one coastal county in new jersey, officials reportedly hired a converted camper to deliver mail and ballots to storm shelters. >> because of the devastation across the state, all of the county clerks throughout the state of a jersey have extended hours so people can physically walk into our office and vote by mail, which the call it a vote by mail, but it is really like a paper ballot. they fill out the application, get a ballot, vote and can walk
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to the board of elections office down the hall. >> new york city plans to run shuttle buses today to bring coastal residents to the polls. the government has ordered a halt to home foreclosures on federally backed mortgages in areas devastated by last week's superstorm sandy. on monday, housing and urban development secretary shaun donovan said loans under the federal housing administration would see a foreclosure moratorium for 90 days. the housing department also says it plans to pay for the hotel stays of some 34,000 displaced people in new york and new jersey. new york city alone has up to 40,000 displaced residents in need of shelter, including 20,000 in public housing. syria is seeing some of its worst violence in bonds with violence raging across the country. at least 159 people were killed nationwide monday, nearly half in one city, idlib.
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at least 31 people have been killed in a suicide attack on a group of iraqi soldiers outside a military base near baghdad. it was one of the worst attacks against iraqi military so far this year. the u.s. soldier charged with the massacre of afghan civilians in march appeared in court on monday for a preliminary hearing to determine whether he will face a full court-martial. robert bales faces 16 counts of murder, one for each of his victims. musa mahmuddi of the afghanistan independent human rights commission called on the west to ensure the victims' families are heard. >> we strongly ask the united states that justice should be applied in a trial should be based on the principles of fair trial, and provide opportunities and time to the
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victims' family members to be heard in the court of the united states. >> bales was on his fourth combat tour following earlier stints in iraq and afghanistan. on monday, a former military comrade testified that robert bales had shown no remorse after committing the shootings. prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. a family in pakistan is accusing the u.s. of killing an elderly woman and wounding six of her grandchildren and a drone attack late last month. the strike reportedly occurred in a remote village of north waziristan near pakistan's border with afghanistan. speaking from peshawar, the woman's grandson and son describe the moment her body was found and called for a full investigation of her death. >> i saw that my uncle was winding around in the field. i thought it was looking for my grandmother. a started running here and there with him. then we found her lying in a ditch.
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my uncle tried to pick her up but could not do so because she waen into pieces. she was in very bad shape. >> we appeal to the whole world to thoroughly investigate this incident so any such occurrence does not take place with other people in the future, and that no innocent women or children are killed again. >> a federal appeals court has heard arguments in the case of four new york and who've alleged government entrapment in the 25- sentence for a bombing plot. the newburgh 4 were convicted for placing what they thought were bombs in a new york synagogue in 2010. defense attorneys said the men were entrapped by government agents and not predisposed to commit a terrorist crime. during their sentencing last year, the judge in the case of knowledge from the bench that the men were not terrorists as alleged by the government and then no crime would have occurred if not for the role of the fbi informant. after hearing from prosecutors and defense attorneys on monday, a three-judge panel of the second u.s. circuit court of appeals said it would rule at a
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later date. an african-american muslim and 10-year veteran of the u.s. army has come forward to reveal he has been placed on the u.s. no- fly list without explanation. sp to the guardian, the former air force service member saaadiq long says he has been visited -- prevented from visiting his ailing mother in oklahoma after learning the department of homeland security has barred him from flying to the united states. long had bought a ticket to oklahoma shortly after learning his mother's congestive heart condition had worsened. a federal appeals court heard the case monday in a case challenging arizona law that bans abortion after 20 weeks gestation or 18 weeks post fertilization, except in medical emergencies. abortion-rights advocates call the measure among the most extreme of the more than six similar bans across the united
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states. the law is on hold pending the outcome of the appeal. a federal judge has ruled in favor of the michigan company seeking to opt out of a requirement in the new federal healthcare law to provide contraception coverage to female employees. judge robert cleveland of the federal district court in detroit sided with the family owned court that argued funding contraception would violate the family's religious beliefs. the rally marked the second time a federal judge has sided with an employer seeking an exemption on the grounds of opposition to contraception. dozens of protesters opposed to the keystone xl pipeline held a rally monday at the washington, d.c. office of a firm lobbying on behalf of transcanada. the company behind it pipeline. four protesters were arrested after refusing to leave. the protest was held in solidarity with more than six- week blockade in texas where protesters are attempting to block progress on the pipeline's
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construction. those are some of the headlines. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. it's been a long time coming, but today's the day when people across the country head to the polls to cast their ballots in what remains a tight presidential race. as they do so, voting rights advocates are closely watching, monitoring confusion over whether their record to show a photo id. many of the most stringent new voting restrictions at the state level have been blocked or weakened by courts, including a key swing state like pennsylvania. meanwhile in the battleground state of ohio, republican secretary of state jon husted has issued a new, last-minute directive that would disqualify ballots not accompanied by a form accurately documenting the type of identification used. republican ohio governor john kasich was asked about whether this could lead to greater number of provisional ballots,
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which could delay election results. this was his response monday on cbs news. >> a lot of people got ballots to vote early. if you do not turn those cn and you show up to vote, then you become a provisional ballot operator. it is possible, if it is very, very close, that we will not know the results of this for awhile. i'm just not a fortune teller. i cannot predict that. the provisional ballots could be numerous, but we will see. we still have today and people can drop that absentee ballot into the ballot box on election day. >> over the weekend, democrats called attention to other voting challenges by filing a lawsuit to force florida's republican governor rick scott to extend early voting. last year, scott and republican state legislature reduced early voting times and now voters are seeing waits of more than six hours at the polls.
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still, the 2012 election is also expected to set a record for early voting. 30 million americans have already cast their ballot through early voting across 34 states. to talk more about what is happening at the polls, what voters can expect, and you can call if they encounter problems, we're joined by two guests. myrna pérez is senior counsel in the democracy program at the brennan center for justice at new york university school of law. she is part of the election protection collisions voter support hotline that 1-800-our- vote. in the battleground state of virginia, we're joined by videostream by brentin mock. his latest article is called, "tea party group blocks florida voters, stops water handouts at polls." welcome both of you to "democracy now!" explain the title of your piece, brentin mock. >> if it sounds a little
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ridiculous, it is because it is. let's take the second part of it where poll watchers are basically tried to stop water from being handed out. you talked about the really long lines in florida, whether miami or tampa. i was just in tampa and the lines were literally going around for blocks in many of the black neighborhoods. you have republican poll watchers who were standing by, looking for, i guess, voter fraud activity or something of that sort. there were volunteers were handing out water to the people standing in line for it republican poll watchers said it was illegal and the naacp and the seiu volunteers were riding a black voters published writing black voters to vote for obama. no evidence was even offered.
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basically, as volunteers were trained hand out water to people standing in really long lines. >> explain the lines. >> early voting is going on right now in florida. in tampa, there have been 15 different polling places where you can go to early vote from saturday to saturday. about three of those polling sites are predominantly african- american or in african-american neighborhoods. starting with the sunday previous where there was a vote -- go to the polls campaign, there were churches to rescinding the vans of people to these locations to have people vote. as a result, the lines were backed up stretching back for@ blocks. it has been really hot in
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florida. you have a lot of elderly people in these lines. unfortunately, to the credit of the advocates and the volunteers, they have been out trying to do what they can to accommodate the voters. again, not bribing them, just making sure they have water, that some have chairs if the lines are too long. i spoke to people who had been in line for as long as five, six, seven hours. >> who is fudning true the vote? >> i think people are still trying to connect the dots on where the major funding is coming from. we know and florida, specifically, they have had a number of or have held a number of meetings and trimmings with americans for prosperity. we know americans for prosperity was made to be funded by the koch brothers. we have not been able to connect it directly to true the vote,
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but we know that collected money from the bradley foundation in wisconsin, a group responsible for putting up the voter intimidation billboards in wisconsin and ohio. they have collected money from a lot of tea party groups not just in texas where there were born out of, but a number of different groups were to party groups around the country. the money is coming from many places and we have not been able to find the exact location. >> to people identify themselves as true the vote at the polls? >> there is is really tricky thing going on. true the vote as an organization is born out of a two-party grew from houston, texas. they have affiliate's throughout the country. in florida, you have -- it is a
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training volunteer group. in virginia where i am right now, you have the virginia voters alliance bid again, trending by true theote, that we have learned from the head of the virginia voter alliance that true the vote instructed them not to use their name because of all of the legal bar lawsuits that true the vote was noright . i also think based right now, any of these -- if groups they have trained go out and do engage in anything unlawful or intimidation, true the vote can white friends and say, "that is not one of our groups -- true the vote can go out and say, "that is not one of our group's."
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they are involved in ohio and wisconsin were the have literally said in a legal complaints that they have no ties to these groups and are not responsible or liable for what these groups do when they go out to the polls. even though they were trained by true the vote. >> you write about a group that has challenged 75 people in tampa, an official challenge for the person had to sign, what is it, under oath, that they know the person is not eligible to vote. >> right. i have been making this point alive. a lot of reporters who have picked up on truitt the vote in the past few months, understandably, they have reported on what they suspect true the vote will do at the polls based off of what they have said they would do at the polls. that is really not the most dangerous part. the most dangerous part is
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white they do before people get to that -- is what they do before they get to the polls. in states like florida, you can file a citizen or poll watcher can file a legal challenge at the county elections office, which is what happened in hillsborough county, and kimberly kelly, filed 77 challenges against people in the hillsborough county area. over half of those were in tampa. these people, when their voting status is challenged, they don't know this and won't know this until they show up at the polls and the person tells them, "your vote has been challenged." at that point, that person cannot file a regular ballot. they will have no choice but to file a provisional ballot. this is completely unfair. you can understand the
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frustration and confusion this is going to cause when someone waits five to six hours in line and finally gets the right to vote, gets up to the front of the line and is told, "you have to file a provisional ballot." >> an want to talk about virginia after the break. i want to bring in myrna pérez who has been following the issue of voting rights and suppression with the brennan cen stick with florida. >> florida is an interesting case because you have one of the most restrictive laws been paced by the state legislature that did a number of things. it put restrictions on third- party registration groups. groups like the league of women voters who make the bread and butter activities including people and our democracy. the restrictions and is so onerous that they had to close down shop for a little bit. that is the same law that brought us the early voting
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reductions. fortunately, like was the case and other laws around the country, the advocates and voters fought back. the courts definitely block a lot of the provisional, a lot of the aspects of this law that made it very difficult for voters. we still see some aftermath. one obvious thing is while the early voting restrictions are better than they were before, they are clearly -- there clearly is a demand in the need for more and more early voting time. one of the things i like about the florida story is it speaks@ to a narrative of voters standing up for themselves. here was a very suppress a piece of legislation, people trying to shut them out, and responded in enormous numbers, willing to stand in line, advocates have their back to an exercise their fundamental right to vote in the face of legislature that passed laws to try to stifle it. i think we need to take away the
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very powerful and very beautiful thing that is happening, which is people realizing a right to vote is fundamental. it is something we should not be scared to exercise. when it is challenged, we need to demand. >> are you getting any calls on your voter protection hot line from florida? >> one of the things we know, and i do think of your ship should know, if a voter has a problem, they should call 1-800- our-vote, a national non- partisan hotline where they are trained legal volunteers were able to answer questions from "i don't know where my polling locations as," am i still registered on the books?" for some is asking me to present a vindication." this is a day we come together. it does not matter if you are rich or poor, young or old, rich or not. we need to make sure we exercise that right and take advantage of
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the opportunity being given to us. >> we will continue our conversation after the break. brentin mock is lead reporter for voting rights watch 2012 and myrna pérez with the brennan center and is particularly involved with the voter protection hotline for people to call throughout today. back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. this is election day 2012. let's go to a comment from a former top advisor to republican senator john mccain of arizona's 2008 presidential campaign. appearing on msnbc on monday, steve schmidt dismissed concerns of ineligible voters casting ballots and said republican- backed voter id laws are based
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on mythology. >> whether you're a democrat or republican, you want everyone eligible to vote to vote. i think all of this step that has transpired over the last two years is in search of a solution to a problem that does not really exist when you look deeply at the question. [indiscernible] part of the mythology and the republican party now there is widespread voter fraud both sides are lawyer to up to the nth degree and a posture back and forth on it but it probably will come down to a lawyer. >> that was a senior advisor to senator john mccain when he was running for president. we are joined by myrna pérez, senior counsel at the brennan center in the democracy program at new york university school of law. we're also joined by brentin mock, lead reporter for voting
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rights watch 2012, a collaboration between the nation magazine and brid. schmidt, i amteve wondering if he is on the switches party affiliation listening to him these days. >> it is certainly the case there is no dispute that our election system needs to be free and fair and full of integrity. the dispute is over what means people are quantitate in order to ensure that and how many people are going to be disenfranchised. the evidence documents that the kinds of restrictive laws being passed do not do anything or do very little, if anything at all, to make our elections more secure. what they do do is make it very difficult for eligible americans to participate and vote. we need to ask ourselves, how many barriers are we going to put in front of the ballot box between eligible americans and their fundamental rights?
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we need to make sure that we are not the victims of manipulation by partisans who want to rid the rules of the games so they can make the rules of the games of who gets to persist and who does not. one example i like these is the texas voter to the vacation requirement that will not be in place. the list of acceptable ids was crete it was such target precision that there was a decision made that if you had a university of texas id, you could not use it to vote but if he had a concealed gun license, you could. that is a specific kind of targeting of certain voters to make sure some people have a voice and those voices that politicians don't want to hear -- >> wouldn't that be struck down by a court immediately? >> the court to block it. it will not be in place. >> that is not striking it down, just to link implementation. >> it cannot be implemented right now.
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it was challenged. the state did not meet its burden that it was not one to make minority and poor voters -- it is not a lot people have to worry about in texas, but you raise an important point. right up to the wire,here is great confusion in taxes over what the id requirements are. we're getting reports that people doing early voting are being asked for identification that is not required. the voter registration cards the state sends out were misleading and suggest the photo identification law, this stringent law that is not in place, actually is in place. we see examples of voter confusion in many instances. also in pennsylvania. we sought two web sites in the county still have the old information on the law was active. that is why it is really important and voters are not sure or hear something that does not feel right, they need to call 1-800-our-vote where we
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have up-to-date information. >> brentin mock, virginia is going to tell us a lot. "democracy now!" begins our broadcast tonight at 7:00 until 1:00 in the morning eastern time. we will be broadcasting act and many public radio and television stations around the country. 7:00 is when we start. 7:00 this when the polls in virginia close. brentin mock, talk about what is happening in virginia, a key swing state. >> virginia mirrors florida in many ways, particularly with the felony disenfranchisement law. anyone has a felony conviction is permanently disenfranchised. you have to appeal to the governor to have your voting rights restored. like florida, there's a to a five-year wait for you even to
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apply that you're voting rights restored if he had a felony conviction. unlike florida, virginia did not have early voting. right now in florida, a much larger istate and virginia -- it is not rhode island, by any means. there probably already at the polls. we saw five, six, seven-hour waits in florida d@early voting. i can imagine what the lines look like in virginia where there is an absolutely no early voting. >> talk about a fairfax county elections board, and the man they have spearheading their voting rights laws and how they're implemented. >> fairfax county, which is a very important county in this
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presidential race, so important mitt romney is having his post- election -- i hate to call a party -- he will have his post- election event here in fairfax county. that is how important it is. >> place it for us geographically and why it is significant. >> i'm sorry, what was the question? >> place fairfax county geographically in virginia. >> it is a swing county, for the most part, of fairfax goes basically is how virginia will go. virginia is such a swing state, it was important to obama winning in 2008. for romney to win, he will need virginia. fairfax is really going to be the weathervane of how virginia goes. in the election board, the board
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of elections [indiscernible] has been the architect of a number of different voters suppression laws. he is a research fellow at the heritage foundation, which is a conservative think tank. he is a huge proponent of voter id laws. he has been a huge promoter of the purging programs that we saw happening in florida with governor rick scott. in fact, talking points memo reported earlier this year when governor scott was being sued because of this purging program, he began to call on people to help promote this, too spent in the media to make it look like one of the main people he@ called was [indiscernible] now he is sitting in the fairfax county board of elections with the huge amount of suppression
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over which votes can be counted in which will not be counted. >> and his significance, why he should have so much power? >> i don't think he should. a lot of very smart people believe these kinds of election boards should be taken out of partisan hands and put into a completely independent non- partisan operators. right now we know for a fact that he is by no means a non- partisan person. he is a very conservative blogger that works with one of the most conservative groups out there, the heritage foundation. he is one of the top advisers to true the vote -- one of his most trusted advisers, actually. not only with to the vote's founder, but with some of the secretary of states and the other battleground states
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throughout the nation such as colorado secretary state. he shared plenty of thoughts and ideas on stage with south carolina's attorney general when there are fighting against the department of justice to have their voter id law implemented. this is a person who at least for the last 20 or 30 years has done everything in his power to try to restrict voting rights for citizens. jane meyer in new york had a profile of him to really detail not only the pure partisanship he engages in, but also the drumming of the voter fraud. he has been one of the main trumpeters of this idea that voter fraud exists. she categorically debunked basically every single example he prided where he tried to say it helped win elections.
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>> myrna pérez, can you t about new york and new jersey? we have this superstorm sandy in new york with 40,000 residents displaced, governor chris christie in new jersey is saying people will be able to email their votes. governor cuomo has issued an executive order that you can vote anywhere, but that means he cannot vote down ballot. explain what that means. you can vote for president, but not if the place you're going to vote has a state senator, you would want to vote for wherever your living. you cannot then vote in some houses district for the state senator there. >> there are a couple of takeaways. at one, this was an extraordinary circumstance. terrible, terrible storm with many people displaced, many rescue workers cannot be where there's us to be because there are trying to keep people safe. and to put lights on and make sure the people were found and have the basic necessities.
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we saw two governors take creative and unusual measures to try and make sure that people's fundamental right to vote would still be exercised. in new york, the governor made is such that certain counties, and people that live in certain areas that were federally declared the emergency zones, could vote by affidavit ballot anywhere they wear at. yes, it is the case that's they will not be able to vote for what sometimes people call down ticket races, and that is a very practical reason. the ballots are created for the location they are at. and i think while there may be some lacking to that, we do need to take away is someone was trying to account for the very unique situation we are in and trying to provide a means for voters to be able to participate and not be shut out. in new jersey, they did two things. one of them is getting more press than the other.
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one is the e-mail. that is something that, in my view, is something we should not look at right now as a long-term solution. there are still technological kinks that need to be worked out. as a practical matter, if you do not have electricity, the fact you can e-mail your ballot in is likely not going to be much good to you. in york, there is a provision for people to be able to vote if there somewhere else, as long as they're in the state and registered. it will have to be provisional. >> if they're talking about any long-term solution like people say, why do we do email oliver, it goes to issues of privacy. >> and security. we need to make sure there are not glitches in computers. it is something that reformers and advocates -- some advocates look at as a possibility, but i don't think we're there yet as a
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permanent solution. maybe one day the facts will change. we cannot underestimate the provisional ballot in option. that will not rely on electricity. it allows people -- >> that is? >> they are displaced, registered to vote, taken cast a provisional ballot wherever is closest to them. like in new york, it will be counted as -- >> new york and new jersey are not considered swing states, which is interesting. if many fewer people vote, expected to vote mostly for obama, it goes to the whole question of electoral college, the possibility obama could win the electoral college which means winning the presidency and not when the popular vote, and this would further that. there would be fewer people voting. >> as americans, we should focus less on the horse race and more about the voters. if your people are voting
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because of a natural disaster, i think is a program for the governors to take measures to make sure more people can vote. in my view, it does not matter whether not the elections are closer not read people have a fundamental right to vote. the vote means something to people. the more people participate, the more robust we are. that is what these measures are designed to do, to make it that more people can participate notwithstanding this horrible natural disaster that has happened. ,> final comments, brentin for what people should understand about what is happening. we hope to have both of you on some time tonight during our special broadcast to report on what you have found throughout the day. >> what i would like to do is give the high salute to voters themselves. sometimes reporters, such as myself, are doing what we're supposed to do, supposed to
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report an expose people trying to suppress the vote. but the same time, voters are not stupid, americans are not stupid. they are resilient. we have technology at our hands. people have been showing in these elections they're not going to let any obstacles come between them and the vote. it is true, we should not have seven, eight hours in lines for voting. but the fact that people are waiting that long to vote and not letting anything to stop them fing out to vote, is a testament not only for the voters but the groups like the brennan center for justice who has been putting out such accurate information long before the election time came in the election protection team who has been out there willing to help anyone who needed anything. right now what we see is
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democracy in action. >> quickly, myrna pérez, final comment on immigrants. for people are afraid -- they are allowed to vote, but what if they could be investigated? their fear that some in their family could be deported, the whole question of immigrants and their right to vote? >> if someone is an eligible american and have not been disenfranchised because of mental adjudication or a felony, they have a right to vote. there are people that will help you if someone is trying to suppress that read report it to 1-800-our-vote. we will do our best to counter the information and make sure election officials know about what is going on. every eligible american that is registered should participate. >> on the issue of prisoners. x convicts, felons, the hearing loss across the country. i remember speaking to a friend
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a while ago when i said, "? are you going to >>" he said he could not read his that he is never been able to vote. he actually was able to vote. people do not know that these laws vary from state to state. >> the first time i was on your show it was about that. we are a patchwork when it comes to those with criminal convictions. in vermont, you never lose your right to vote. you can vote from prison. one of the problems you have with this patchwork is there is misinformation. people do not understand what the rules are in their state. >> the states for you never, ever can vote again? >> in vermont, they have no trouble because they know that. kentucky and virginia, they tended be ok because they know where the bright lines are. the most problems are states like in new york or you can vote if you're on probation, but not parole. one thing that is important is
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people not disenfranchise themselves because they don't understand the state law. what happens frequently is someone will have that information and they tell their cousin or their girlfriend and they tell their girlfriends best friend, then you have these entire communities being misinformed. call 1-800-our-vote and we can let you know what the state law is. you should do that before election time read you should look at what your state rules are. if you're eligible to vote, he should register to vote. people can walk you through the process. >> and you have to register again if you're in prison? it's it depends on the state. -- >> it depends on the state. >> thank you for being with us, myrna pérez, from the brennan center for justice, part of the voter suppression protection hot line 1-800-our-vote. brentin mock, lead reporter for voting rights watch 2012. we will have a link to latest
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article and hope to speak to vote tonight to get the latest at the end of this historic day. this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is "democracy now!,", the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as in all recent elections, ohio is a crucial state to win for either presidential candidate -- and once again ohio is a the center of charges of systematic suppression of the african- american vote. investigative reporter greg palast discovered that early voters in the buckeye state received the wrong ballots. he found this report for ♪ "democracy now!" >> ♪
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>> hallelujah, finally come election day in ohio. union workers and rule evangelicals are on the road driving to the polls. ohio will probably pick our president tuesday, the democrats say the election was decided on sunday. this is greg palast reporting. here in the economically wounded heart of dayton, ohio, i'm going to church because sunday is souls to the polls da. ♪ souls to the polls day, when thousands of african-americans in ohio will vote early from church. while most other ohioans will vote on tuesday, the clear majority of black folks in ohio will vote early.
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this is the freedom fate missionary baptist church, and it will look into the church van to take their singing souls to the polls. a church member and leader of the movement explains why african-americans vote on sunday. >> because typically on election day, everyone works. most african-americans are probably working two or three jobs and it is harder for them to get off that particular day. early voting hours for our community was essential, especially weekend voting hours because that gives time to go out and vote. most individuals are off on the weekends. for us in our community, it is easy for us to vote early on the weekends. >> we drive behind a church group to downtown dayton, the early voting station. we found a line of the nearly 1000 voters staking out a state building and out -- snaking out the state building and into the parking lot.
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republican secretary of state john kucinich cut black church they voting from -- john kasich cut black church voting from four to just one, and for fewer hours. just one polling place for all of dayton, all of montgomery county. do you think this is a good way to do it or they just have one polling place for early voting? >> it is probably not a good way, but that is the way it is now. we work t. >> it could be an hour or two in line. are you up to it? >> oh, yes. >> can i ask you you're going to vote for? >> no. [laughter] >> voters were herded into this auditorium after hours of a weight or the were treated to a slide show. on tuesday, the day where most whites vote, there will be 176 polling locations. finally, 10 by 10, groups were sent to get their ballots.
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wait, these were not ballots, these four applications for absentee ballots. what is going on? they are not the same as a regular ballot. in u.s. elections, between one and 3 million absentee ballots are rejected by voting officials, effectively, thrown in the garbage. booking on an absentee ballot is light plane been go with your vote. >> #175. 175. >> to reassure voters, this big notice was projected on the giant screen. >> early voting = absentee voting. oh, no, it doesn't. not according to this professor. i show the professor the absentee ballot form handed out in early voting and asked if
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this was legitimate or common practice. >> absolutely uncommon. i would suspect it is either done out of incompetence for convenience or to defraud people of their vote. as you can see, and this form, you have to fill that out. the secretary of state has come up with the notion that if you leave anything blank, even though it is irrelevant, your absentee ballot can be tossed. >> in other words, these voters could lose their vote. >> absolutely. john husted as the republican secretary of state, really has decided that he can deliver for the republican party, that the only way they can win is by throwing as many people as they can of the registration rolls and making it as inconvenient
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and difficult as possible to vote, particularly during early voting. it is outrageous. it is a systematic attempt to eliminate the hard core base of the democratic party. and they're getting away with it. >> does it have a racial element? >> absolutely. it is the new jim crow. >> we ask our souls missionary baptist how they did at the polls. a >> it went great. thank you very much. >> did it all goes smoothly? >> yes, it did. >> beautiful. >> i did not have a hard to tell them, those ballots may never get counted. this is greg palast in ohio at early voting for "democracy now!" >> that is greg palast. he will be joining us live tonight for a special election
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broadcast from 7:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. eastern standard time. you can tune in on television, radio and watch a live video stream online we will be looking at claims of harassment. we will be following on twitter as well. check for details. we turn now to our last segment, new investigation that tracks some of the $1 billion spent by outside organizations in this presidential election. one of every $4 spent on the campaign ads, direct mail, and robocalls the target voters now comes from so-called dark many organizations. the irs lets these groups keep their donors secret because they're considered social welfare nonprofits. that changed this past friday when a montana judge ordered the release of one such group's bank roberts -- records. one group may have misled the irs about the extent of its political@ivities, and as citizens have a right to know
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where its campaign cash was coming from. the group is known for bringing all lost to the supreme court that successfully challenged montana's ban on corporate spending in elections, and the resulting ruling extended the court's citizens united decision to include all 50 states. friday's ruling marks the first time a court has ordered a dark money group's donors to be made public and some say the judge's move could serve as a warning to similar organizations. for more we're joined by the propublica reporter who helped write the story. kim barker is the author of an ongoing series of reports called, "campaign 2012: revealing dark money and big data." her latest piece is called, "dark money group's donors revealed." she recently collaborated with pbs frontline on a special, "big sky, big money: a tale of money, power and political intrigue in the remote epicenter of the campaign finance debate: montana." kim barker, welcome back to >> where do you want me to start? >> explain what this group is, how the judge ruled, and what are the implications for this
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country? >> western tradition partnershi@ is one of the social welfare nonprofits that are supposed to have social welfare or helping the community at large as the primary purpose. they are allowed to do some politics, but it is not supposed to be what they're doing primarily. there were very involved in 2008 in the state elections in montana. after that, montana investigators began to investigate and found about two years ago, this was a political committee and its donors should be public. a lawsuit in sued, as it often does with this group. for the last two years, it has been making its way through court. the suit came of what the supreme court that in effect made citizens united apply to all 50 states. this happened this last june. it is been a group that is not really big but has pledged about its way in terms of impact the a-punched its way in terms of impact nationally.
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we look at documents available in montana, including documents found in a mess house -- a meth house in colorado. >> a -- >> a meth house in colorado. they were found nearby a man who was a convicted felon. he stumbled across these boxes in this meth house. one name kept popping up in these boxes, which was western tradition partnership. >> how did they end up in a meth house? all we could find out before the story came out was that he said a friend of his had gotten him out of a stolen car and that somehow they ended up in this methhouse. he was curious. he went through them. the group had been in the public domain. there have been stories about them attacking candidates in colorado, so he reached out to some candidates and their
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spouses. one of them, a lawyer, actually come into that to pick up -- going to pick up the boxes. boxes and boxes of documents mentioning candidates, having candidate's draft material, campaign final drafts, questionnaires of the candidates. it was a lot of communication between a man who was very involved with western tradition partnership and the candidates. that is one thing that is not allowed. everything seems to be allowed in terms of outside voters and candidates, but that is not allowed. >> and said things like -- to line >> stop obama. mentioning specific candidate's names they would like to support. these were released separately. these were the documents released friday by the judge. >> and the donors? >> some were small organizations that clearly had gone to some fund raiser, the thing had
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social welfare nonprofits. you see this a lot. you even get behind the veil of these groups, they're getting a lot of their money from other social welfare nonprofits. it is a way to further obscure where the money comes from. >> we will have a link to your investigation, kim barker, on watch our special election broadcast tonight from 7:00 p.m. to 1:00 eastern standard time. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. a conversation with oliver smiley. a conversation with oliver ston

Democracy Now
WHUT November 6, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EST

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